Restaurant Review: Homefire Bar and Grill

Thursday, December 03, 2009
Last night, the SIL and I headed out sans kidlets to finish up the some of our holiday shopping. Normally we would not have gone to Walmart but it was the only place we could find that might possibly have the one item we were looking for: an electric frying pan (aka skillet). My father and his wife had been very specific when it came to their wishlist this year. We had previously checked at the Bay, Zellers, Sears and even Canadian Tire. While we had found a couple of fancy versions with lots of extras, none fit the bill. Long story short, Walmart had spaces for 6 different types/sizes of skillets but they didn't have a single one in stock...not even the display models! We got them a gift card. After wandering around the giant store for an hour, we had worked up quite an appetite. At that point, I would have been happy with a "burger" from McRaunchies but the SIL suggested a place nearby she had heard great things about: The Homefire Bar & Grill.

Located deep in the West End of the city, nestled amongst a number of one way streets and definately what you'd call "out of the way", Homefire is difficult to get to and hidden away from most of the city. Their card (which I took 3 of) states "Contemporary Canadian fire-roasted food is the hallmark of this new casual restaurant concept. Specializing in woodstone pizzas, fish, rotisserie chicken and meats..." I don't know really what contemporary Canadian fire-roasted food is but I know one thing, our meals were absolutely fantastic.

The SIL ordered the lamb burger with salad instead of potatoes/veggies (she's allergic to the almighty 'tater). According to their menu, it's made with locally farmed katahdin lamb, topped with gouda and pancetta. The verdict? The salad was standard restaurant fare but the burger (which was quite large) rendered her practically speechless.

My bison burger had the completely opposite effect on me. Topped with chedder and regular bacon, I plowed through half of it amidst moans of pleasure and the occasional "oh god that's good". Yes, I think it's safe to say it was nearly orgasmic. The veggies which I enjoyed were perfection. The colours were brilliant, everything cooked to just the right point - slightly crunchy without being raw, soft enough but not mushy - drizzled with just a hint of butter (I think) and some herbs, these were amazing. I find that by the time the plate reaches your table, the veggies have either continued cooking too much so that they're mush and lost all their flavour or, god forbid, they use frozen which should be a culinary crime when it comes to dining out. The mashed potatoes were covered in gravy ... and I didn't even have to ask! These turned out to be a bit disappointing when compared to everything else on my plate. They didn't have much flavour and the gravy was lackluster. However, this didn't stop me from eating all of them. Mmmm, potatoes.

Oh, and did I mention the saskatoon berry chutney? No? Hmmm, how did I forget that? OH MY GOD! I'm not a huge fan of saskatoons but I was intrigued by the thought of a burger (both the lamb and the bison) covered with saskatoon berry chutney. The chutney (by itself) was the first thing I sampled off my plate and it was the first thing to disappear entirely. I blamed my enthusiasm throughout the meal on the fact that I was high on the berry. Wow. I don't know what else to say other than deee-lish-us. Incredible. And, I noticed this morning (when I ate the second half of my burger for breakfast), that they had incorporated a few saskatoons into the patty! Amen.

Local foodie blogger, Sharon, visited the restaurant back in 2006 and didn't seem to as great an experience as my SIL and I had. However, both she and I have one thing in common - we both want to go back and try the bison meatloaf. I was very tempted when reading the menu but ended up deciding on the burger. We're planning a return visit in January to celebrate my birthday and that of the Admiral whose birthday is right before Christmas and you can be guaranteed that I'll bring my camera along for the ride.

I loved the decor of the restaurant - shades of brown and beige. Plenty of booths (which I love!) and a lovely open central fireplace. The kitchen is open so you can watch the food being prepared which is always a good thing. The lampshades are made of rough cut metal etched with petroglyphs and stick images reminiscent of cave paintings. Sharon was right about the feel of the restaurant though: the dim lighting is designed more towards "adult" dining than a family -friendly atmosphere although there were a couple of children there when we arrived. And if you're planning on going with your kids, you should know they don't have a specific kid's menu but do offer kid's "burger, pizza and pasta" according to our waiter.

If you're looking for something a little different and want to steer clear of those chain restaurants which seem to litter every other block, give the Homefire Grill a try! In my opinion, one of Edmonton's hidden gems.

Homefire Bar and Grill
18210 - 100 Avenue
(780) 489-8086


Wandering Coyote said...

Wow, sounds like a resoundingly awesome experience. Bison rules!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Lamb burger!

Aren't you glad you listened to your mother?

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